Sustainable and prizeworthy: Neumarkt i.d.OPf. sets news standards
Climate protection, fair trade, ecological farming, regional economic circles – Neumarkt i.d.OPf. (Bavaria, Germany) supports sustainable development in the town. It has set up a programme of micro-financing in order to motivate local people and organisations to get involved in the local agenda for sustainable development and set valuable impulses. The programme volume is 50.000 Euro – with just about 40.000 people living in Neumarkt. It expressly addresses small project starting at about 1.000 Euros and supports organisations, associations, institutions, groups of people and companies.
Sustainability: Neumarkt holds it dear
Sustainable development is important for Neumarkt. In 2007, it joined the Climate Alliance, in 2008, it founded its own Climate Forum and signed the Covenant of Mayors. Mayor Thomas Thumann emphasises that the town has made "a courageous step forward, in order to go beyond the EU goal concerning CO2 savings." Since then the city administration has erected solar panels on public buildings, implemented intelligent building control systems and measures to save energy – the exchange of street lighting along saves an annual 536 tons of CO2 and about 62.000 Euros. The building of the municipal utility produces more energy than it consumes, and roughly 30 Mio. Euros are planned for a biomass heating plant and the implementation of a community heating network. Several small block heating plants are planned in the town district, six alone for 2012.
This commitment has not gone unnoticed. Just recently, Neumarkt received the Climate Star 2012. In 2010, the UNESCO awarded Neumarkt the title as City of the World Decade "Education for Sustainable Development" for the third time. A year before, Neumarkt was the first FairTrade Community in Bavaria, and in April 2011, the town was named "Sustainable Citizen Municipality" by the Bavarian Ministry for the Environment. In this context, Neumarkt has founded the development scheme "Sustainability learned anew – Impulses through microprojects".
Sustainability means saving the "Heimat"
The private investments triggered by the development scheme are estimated to amount to ten times the initial programme volume – creating a multimillion all-encompassing climate protection and development programme for Neumarkt's sustainable future. Mayor Thumann says: "It is a first-class climate protection programme and at the same time a huge stimulus for our local economy." For him, climate protection and sustainability are important existential functions of a municipality: "For me, it is all about our home and our living conditions. We are very committed and convinced, that this is the good path. We receive a lot of confirmation that we are setting an example for others." So it is very fitting that the programme start fall into the year of Neumarkt's 850th anniversary, the motto of which emphasises Neumarkt's power to constantly renew itself.
City of Neumarkt i.d.OPf. (only in German)